So you’re probably wondering what a ginger bug is, and why on earth would I make it! The short answer is that it’s a culture of good bacteria that is used as a base for homemade lacto fermented sodas. Much like kefir, kombacha, yogurt, and other fermented foods like pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut, the bacteria in lacto fermented sodas provides beneficial bacteria to our guts. I’m not a fan of conventional soda’s for obvious reasons, and I’m so glad to have this as an alternative. The recipe I used for making this lacto soda starter comes from the book Bar Tartine Techniques & Recipes, get a copy, it’s a great book. You can use any type of sugar that you like in this recipe, and don’t worry about the sugar, it’s not for you, it’s for the bacteria, and they need it to thrive. They eat it, and what’s left over is a thing of pure beauty. One thing you should know about this recipe, is that you have to use organic ginger. Commercial ginger is radiated, and because of that will not make a successful starter.
4 cups of filtered water
5 teaspoons of grated organic ginger
5 teaspoons of organic sugar
Directions: Add the water,
1 teaspoon of ginger,
and one teaspoon of sugar, to a large canning jar, or a bowl, stir well,
cover with cheesecloth and place in a dark corner.
The next day add one teaspoon of ginger, and one teaspoon of sugar, stir well, cover with the cheesecloth and return to the corner. Continue to do this for another 3 days. By the 5th day your ginger bug should be bubbling with action. By bubbling I mean this:
The bubbles are not boiling, just a few here and there, but when I moved it with spoon it sizzled.
Once you get that, your ginger bug is ready to use. If you’re not ready to use it right away, transfer it to a mason jar, cover it, and refrigerate it. Make sure to feed it once a week with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of sugar. When you’re ready to make soda bring the starter to room temp, feed it with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of sugar until it bubbles again, about 3 days. Stay tuned tomorrow I’ll share my recipe for strawberry soda using this starter–it’s soooooooooooooooo good!